Contact: Jenni Smith
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650


November 12, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- Southern Methodist University’s Norwick Center for Media and Instructional Technology (CMIT) will host a film festival on “Women of the Middle East” from 7 to 10 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 29, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, in McCord Auditorium, Room 306, Dallas Hall, 3225 University Blvd. The film festival, in association with SMU’s Women’s Studies program and the SMU Women’s Center, is free and open to the public.

Film titles, length, show times and brief descriptions are as follows:


  • “Beneath the Veil” (45 minutes), 7:15 p.m., is Saira Shah’s dangerous journey into Afghanistan, revealing desperate poverty in which women are deprived of education, medicine and freedom. Viewer discretion advised.
  • “Stories of Honor and Shame” (58 minutes), 8 p.m. examines the lives of Palestinian women living in the Gaza Strip, where a patriarchal Islamic society leaves women with little authority.
  • “Islam and Feminism” (26 minutes), 9:10 p.m., examines severe discrimination against women in Pakistan’s Islamic law which doesn’t distinguish among rape, adultery and fornication.


  • “Women and Islam” (30 minutes) 10:15 a.m., explains the origin of the veil and discusses marriage and women’s rights as Leila Ahmed argues to revise the Islamic view on the role of women.
  • “Behind the Veil” (26 minutes), 10:45 a.m.; Reporter Anna Maria Tremonti dons the modest dress, the hijab, and goes undercover in Iran to discover how women feel about the government-enforced dress code and their diminished role in society.
  • “A Sense of Honor” (45 minutes), 11:15 a.m. takes a sympathetic look at women in Egypt, disagreeing with Western views of these women as restricted and subservient.
  • “Shackled Women” (41 minutes), 1 p.m., assesses how women’s collaboration with men in Third World countries perpetuates abuses of women’s rights.
  • “Beyond Borders” (50 minutes), 1:45 p.m., examines the U.S. foreign policy and the deterioration of women’s rights in the Middle East as women battle against repressive internal constraints and Western intrusion.
  • “Honorable Murder” (57 minutes), 3 p.m., examines traditions that make women responsible as scapegoats in atoning for “dishonor” to the family with their blood.
  • “Our Honor and His Glory” (29 minutes), 4 p.m. examines the situation in which Palestinians value honor so highly that a father, brother or cousin is entitled to kill a woman if her morals are suspect.
  • “Islam and Feminism” (26 minutes), 4:30 p.m. (description above.)

For more information, or for other films available for viewing, contact Lisa Wall, media library acquisitions, at (214) 768-4397.